Heights-Area Walmart: City Thought South Park Episode Would Help

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Let the City Council record reflect......
Channel 13 and the Houston Chronicle have exposed e-mails from city staffers regarding the proposed Walmart near the Heights (a/k/a The Walmart In The Area To Which No One Can Agree On A Name).

The e-mails are fairly typical intra-office political stuff, but Heights residents are aghast that Andy Icken, the city's chief development officer, refers to them as "effete" at one point. Because apparently no one has ever called the Heights that before, unless you count the thousands of times they have.

Best parts of the e-mails: One, they officially put on the record that Hair Balls first broke the fact the Walmart developer was getting tax incentives through a 380 agreement; and two, they reveal the key role South Park almost played in the controversy.

Brent Friedman of the Park Lane Companies, who is pushing the project (SEE CORRECTION), sends Tim Douglass of the city's finance department an e-mail saying

I enjoyed the visit.

Below is the link to the SouthPark episode on Walmart. Perfect fo you to watch -- the premise is that people in the town "poo poo" the store and don't want to go there (see: Heights) but they cannot help themselves. good, good stuff.
The link is to "Something Walmart this Way Comes."

Douglass passes it on to Icken ("You might find this cute") and Icken forwards to to several staffers:

While this is typical "SouthPark Course" -- a little humor can help us all. Perhaps it should have been labeled Walmart and the Luddites!!
Ha ha!! Walmart and the effete Luddites would be even better!! And while a little humor could help us all, so could a lesson on "course" vs. "coarse."

Icken then comes up with the masterstroke: "Perhaps before we open Tuesday public session we should show it on our TV screens at council."

Alas, it didn't come to fruition.

CORRECTION: Brent Friedman of the Park Lane Companies says he sent the e-mail because Douglass is an old friend. Neither Friedman nor Park Lane has any connection with the Walmart project. We apologize for the error.

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